Anthony Lewis's Freedom Of Speech

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Freedom of Speech
It was in 1791 that the United States transcribed the ten amendments within the Constitution. The first amendment, Freedom of Speech, is one of the most controversial laws in today’s society. It states that Congress shall make no law that reduces ones freedom of speech or freedom of press. Although there is a law in place stating such freedoms, it is not as clear and simplistic as it states. As Anthony Lewis states in his book, Freedom for the Thought that We Hate, it isn’t as defined to such simplistic terms as one would assume. It is expressed within Lewis’s text and through today’s press that there has been drastic changes in the meaning behind the First Amendment throughout history and a change that has affected American
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Anthony Lewis makes a reference in his book, Freedom for the Thought We Hate, of times in history when Americans were given freedom of speech but with very strict limitations: this was apparent even more so during a time of combat and national turmoil. As stated by Justice Holmes, “the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent” (Lewis, pg. 26). It is evident now and long ago that the government has had a tight grasp on what can be considered appropriate freedom of speech. There has to be boundaries set to ensure that there is still a sense of structure. At the time when America was at war with Vietnam, a time when the nation was at a venerable state, the government determined whether freedom of speech and press was destroying the nation or helping it. It was clearly understood in the statement of Justice Black when he spoke of the restraints that the government put on the press for freely informing Americans about their thoughts on sending soldiers overseas. Black was proud and adamant that it was the duty and freedom of the press to reveal their thoughts on what the true reason behind the war was (Lewis, pg. 47). We, as Americans, have the right to freedom of speech and press but …show more content…
During times of social upheaval, it is our patriotic duty to provide security for our nation. The laws of the American constitution prohibit freedom of speech when violence is most likely to take place. In today’s society we have to use our intellectual intuition to prohibit any chance that what individuals may say could lead to detrimental danger. Lewis states that there are certain times at which speech should be punishable if it encourages acts of terrorism. (Lewis, pg. 167). A prime example in today’s society would be that of the prejudices in the minds of many of the American people after September 11, 2001. Lewis believes that judges should be prominent leaders in the push to punish those who deliver speeches that provoke terrorist violence in those audiences where violence is already an imminent factor. Horrific terroristic invasion of this nature shape this country’s core

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